The Movie: Repo Man, 1984 (Alex Cox, screenwriter and director)
Who says it: Tracey Walter as Miller, a homeless prophet
The context: This is the relevant phrase of a much longer quote, where Miller explains the “lattice of coincidence” that’s part of the “cosmic unconscious” to repo-man-in-training Otto (Emilio Estevez). Isn’t it strange, he says, how you might think of a plate of shrimp, and then see someone eat a plate of shrimp, or hear someone else mention it. In the next scene, a sign on the wall says “Plate of Shrimp.”
How to use it: To acknowledge synchronicity.
Synchronicity happens all the time. Tuesday night, just after I'd been ranting about people not wearing bike helmets on city streets, I met a perfectly nice person who was riding his bike not only without a helmet, but also without lights. I did ask him whether his donor card was signed, and he assured me that it was. Far be it from me to argue against anyone else's self-destructive practices, I guess. Heaven knows I have enough of my own.
The best book I've read this year is Sock, by Penn Jillette. It turns out to be an extremely clever polemic against belief in God, but I found that kind of endearing; Penn is a vivid example of Simone Weil's theory that committed atheists are closer to God than lackadaisical Christians. Anyway, synchronicity always feels to me like a casual reminder that forces beyond us are still at work, and nothing goes unnoticed. I call that God. I don't know what Penn would call it.
Good news yesterday: Mom's doing so well that she might be able to go home next week. Hurray!